Kate Canada

Alumni of Political Science

kate_canadaQ&A with Kate Canada (BA 1991) Managing Partner, Oishii Creative

How would you describe your time at CSULB? My undergraduate years at CSULB were terrific. I took advantage of the leadership opportunities on campus as well as scholarly and community activities. CSULB was a diverse place where I met students from a variety of backgrounds with a plethora of interests and passions. 
What made you want to study political science? The study of politics and institutions was a long-time interest of mine. Political Science was attractive because I saw for myself opportunities in any number of directions—a career in law, politics, education or business. I figured I could pursue whatever I loved, and that is exactly what I did. 
Which course(s) or professor(s) had a big impact on you while you were completing your degree? I remember most if not all of my professors and coursework at CSULB: Professor Noble taught me the importance of rigor, perspicuity and methodical reasoning in my thinking and writing. His courses were rigorous and intellectually beneficial. Professor Ronald Schmidt was a model educator; he communicated his ideas with subtlety and honesty. Professor Dennis encouraged me to appreciate the importance of quantitative metrics for research—a skill I have hardly done without in my career. And, finally, Professor Riposa encouraged me to attend graduate school with purpose and tenacity. 
What path did you take to get to your current job? The path to my current position came by way of my graduate studies. I completed my PhD at the University of Southern California. While teaching and taking coursework I became interested in developing and using new media and new technologies in social science classrooms. I was fortunate enough to receive training from the then new USC Film School New Media Lab and partner with political science mentor professors to experiment with and develop prototypes for classroom use. I was then asked to help develop supplemental media materials for social science courses and for political science textbooks. I was asked to join the Oishii Creative team because of my social science background along with my experience with new technology and medias. 
What does a typical day at work look like for you? A typical day involves overseeing the various departments of Legal, Finance and Research. On any given day that could mean meetings with various departments or overseeing management of projects or conducting research for developing strategic planning/studies and fiscal planning. 
Tell me about a project that you are particularly proud of that you have worked on in your current job. I am proud of all of my work with Oishii Creative. But because of my background, I am drawn to humanitarian projects. We recently helped produce a PSA (Public Service Announcement) commercial for UNICEF to raise awareness about the importance of clean water for sustainable economies. I am also happy to have recently helped produce a PSA for PeaceFoundation, a non-profit group supporting the Dalai Llama and Tibet. 
How do you think that your studies at CSULB helped prepare you for the success you’ve had in your professional life? At CSULB I believe that I received a well-rounded education. I took advantage of the many resources on campus and I spent time getting involved in the school’s vibrant community. I got to know my professors and learned the importance of combining academics with practical real-world experience. 
What advice would you give a current student who is seeking to follow a similar career path? My advice to new students entering political science is to take advantage of the many opportunities available at CSULB– the faculty, the rich campus life and the many student leadership opportunities.